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Today is November 11th which is a special day to honor the many veterans who have served their countries.

It is a day that is important for so many reasons and to add in another recognition seems difficult to do; however, this is also the day that saw the birth of an important conversation in social media.

It is hard to believe that only 2 years ago, the first use of #SMEM (Social Media Emergency Management) was uttered on Twitter and yet, in reading the post that was written last year about all of the efforts that took place in Year 1, it was more than a little daunting to begin to record some of the highlights of Year 2.

I shall begin with an apology….because I know that there are activities that I missed in this digital record. So, I trust that any significant errors will be caught by readers and entered into the comments below this post.

Nevertheless, you will clearly see that Year 2 was an incredible year for the many folks who were a part of these initiatives.

In order to provide some semblance of historical order, I’ll attempt listing these activities by month over the scope of the past year with hyperlinks where possible.  I will intentionally minimize names, unless the description requires it, because missing one of your names will inevitably hurt someone’s feelings.

Without further ado, here we go….

November 2011 

December 2011

  • Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) delivered a set of 3 social media webinars that were so popular, the maximum number of attendees was reached over 15 minutes prior to the start of each class.
  • In December, three bloggers hosted their lists of favorite #SMEM people and activities that were relevant to 2011.  Patrice Cloutier, Kim Stephens and Jim Garrow’s lists are all fun moments that inspired us all to bigger and better things in 2012.

January 2012

  • Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) released its “Social Media Strategy” document publicly.
  • #SMEM Community on Twitter played in its first exercise to gather information and crowdsource ways to solve problems.  This first exercise was called #SMEMWater which had the following groundrules, lessons learned and winners.

February 2012

  • Two weeks after #SMEMWater, we tried to use the Super Bowl as a way to exercise Situational Awareness. And, #SMEMBowl provided some incredible lessons learned as we all sucked from the firehose of information that was available to those who played.
  • MidWest Disaster 2.0 Conference occured in Kansas and focused on the variety of social media lessons learned from the Joplin tornadoes.
  • #SMEMWatch was another facilitated exercise that occurred online during our weekly #SMEMChat hours.  The scenario, ground rules and wrap-up share more information about this little drill.

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

  • #SMEMChat received Honorable Mention recognition by the Partners in Preparedness Citizen Corps Award. And we have now had 95 weekly chats since #SMEMChat started over a year ago…..thanks to Mary Jo Flynn, Bill Smith and Nathan Hunerwadel who diligently archive and storify these chats.
  • #SMEMForum was held at the National Emergency Management Association Annual Conference in Seattle.
  • The International Association of Emergency Management (IAEM) had a strong social media presence and help desk at their conference with SMEM participants.  IAEM also has an Emerging Technologies Committee that has been active this year.
  • Shakeout.Org used social media to spread the word about their Earthquake Drill.
  • American Red Cross launched its Wildfire Mobile Application for smart phones.
  • VOST Training Plan developed for New Zealand and shared with other developing teams.
  • VOST Leadership Coalition held its first notification drill to connect on incidents requiring expanding resources.
  • Hurricane Sandy VOST Activation & Strong Involvement of other Virtual Technical Communities.

If you had any connection to any of these events, we thank you for participating in this wild year of social media use within crisis and emergency management environments.  This next year will surely have so many events and milestones that it will be nearly impossible to capture a similar list.

However, Happy Birthday #SMEM….here’s to many more years of expansion and use!





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